history

history

The anticipated release of the Tesla Model S is nearly here. It began just a few days ago with the launch of the Tesla Model S design studio , so customers could customize their own Model S and place an order. Just a few days later, we are now set to announce that the first Model S has been handed over to its owner over two weeks before the car’s official release date of June 22nd.

You may be wondering how exactly a customer got his hands on one of the hottest new cars available so early. Well, the first Model S went to Tesla board member, Steve Jurvetson. When you’re one of the bosses, we assume that you can pull a few strings to get your ride a little early.

What’s even better is that there is a video of Mr., Jurvetson taking delivery and you can honestly see that he is excited to get his hands on the first Model S and one of the already sold out Signature Series trim levels. Despite some minor audio issues around the midway point of the video, it is all pretty clear. What’s pretty funny is when Jurvetson hops in his Model S for the first time at the 1:47 mark, fires up its completely silent motor, and pulls away, you will notice that he obviously pressed the accelerator a little too hard, as the car launches forward a few feet before he releases the pedal.

That would have been an interesting story to tell had he lost control the first ever Tesla Model S on its inaugural run. Fortunately, he kept it under control and we are left with a cool video of the first model S to hit the streets. In about two weeks, all of you folks not associated with Tesla will start getting notifications that your car is finished and ready for delivery. Until then, just enjoy the video.

The Le Mans 24 Hours races may not be the pinnacle of the racing world, but they certainly separate the men from the boys and women from the little girls. For the most part, over half of the field ends up retiring before the race ever finishes and the ones that do finish are completely exhausted – both car and drivers – by the time the race ends.

Audi has seemingly always been a part of the Le Mans 24 Hours and has earned tons of success in the race. In the 2011 running, Audi was set up to fail, as two of its three cars were forced to retire early due to freak accidents on the track. Truth in 24 II, narrated by none other than British bad-ass action star Jason Statham, documents the running of the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours race and how the last remaining Audi managed to overcome all of the competition, including three Peugeot 908s, to take home the overall No. 1 position.

What’s even more awesome is that Audi is providing both Truth in 24 and Truth in 24 II completely free of charge. You can download the debut Truth in 24 here, if you haven’t seen it yet, and then snag up Truth in 24 II here. It’s not too often that an automaker gives you something this cool for free, so take advantage of these free movies while you can. They are simply awesome.

The Dodge Durango has never really been one of the most popular SUVs in the market. Sometimes we automotive media even tend to forget it’s around. But the Durango certainly has its own group of enthusiasts that love them and buy a new one every few years, and rightfully so. The Durango has recently morphed into one of the better looking body-on-frame SUVs available, as well as one of the most utilitarian SUVs remaining on the market.

All of that aside, Dodge and parent company, Fiat , have decided that the Durango has run its course and it’s time for it to ride off into the sunset. There is no need to mourn its death, as its axing will bring about yet another cult classic that will don the same underpinnings of the outgoing Durango. This new model, according to an interview with Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, by Automobile Magazine, will be dubbed the Jeep Wagoneer.

Yup, after nearly two decades have passed since the Grand Cherokee replaced it; the Wagoneer name is again being uttered by the brass at Jeep. With the Durango reportedly going the way of the dodo bird in 2016, we assume that the Wagoneer will arrive sometime in the 2015 model year to give it some time to catch on before cutting the Durango altogether.

In the same interview, Marchionne also let us know that Dodge will axe the Avenger for the second time, in 2014. This time around, the Avenger lasted only five model years, one year less than its original version. We were shocked to even see it return, so seeing it disappear is no surprise at all, despite that it was far less ugly than its original rendition.

As soon as we can get a hold of some info on the upcoming Wagoneer, we will update you further.

Back in 1979, the late and great Mickey Thompson put together an indoor off-road event that took place in various stadiums, including the Los Angeles Coliseum. This series inspired likely one of the most awesome storyline arcade games of the 1980s, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s Super Off-Road. By 1996, eight years after Thompson’s murder, the entire series went bankrupt and closed up shop.

Well, Robby Gordon, NASCAR driver and son of former off-road legend, “Baja Bob” Gordon, has brought back the series under the name of Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks.

In modern times, this series might actually survive, with stations like ESPN2, SpeedTV, and other specialty channels to give it plenty of airtime. What makes this series better than the more long-distance off-road series, like Baja Racing and off-road rallies, is the fact that given the small area it covers, it is easier to film for TV.

The season kicks off in 2013 and there are some pretty impressive awards for a startup racing series, as each race pays the winning driver $40,000, the 2nd place driver gets $15,000 and the 3rd place driver takes home $5,000. In addition to money per race, there is a payout to the series champion of $500,000. Yeah, it’s not NASCAR money, but for a startup like this, that is pretty decent.

Making things even more interesting, Gordon has invited old-time off-road racers Danny Thompson, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, and Walker Evans to participate. Other drivers already locked in include: supercross and off-road race Ricky Johnson, NASCAR Truck Series racer Justin Lofton, off-road stars Justin Matney, Jessie Johnson, Luke Johnson, Andrew Caddell and Casey Currie, and rally star Samuel Hubinette.

The only sponsor listed for the series so far is R/C car builders Traxxas, so we will have to see if the series can attract more sponsorship, which should be too hard, given it is not directly competing with any other series.

Gordon promised to release more information as we get closer to the series debut, so we will pass more info on to you as it becomes available.

Second video after the jump.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 0

We’re all aware of who Bill Gates is as he’s remained one of the richest people in the world for the better part of two decades. But just like any other successful businessmen, Gates started off with relatively humble beginnings studying at Harvard University in the early 1970’s, before founding the company which has made him so wealthy, Microsoft, in 1975.

Just four years after founding the company, Bill gates purchased an awesome Porsche 911 Turbo and registered it in Seattle, Washington. That same Porsche was then sold in the ’90’s, but has recently resurfaced and will be put up for auction with Gates’ signed registration details. The auction will be in Vienna, Austria in the coming days and we expect this particular 911 Turbo to fetch a handy amount.

The current owner selling the car is said to have repainted the 911 to the bright blue seen in the above picture. He then got Porsche Classic to kick-start additional life into the sports car by uprating its standard 3.3-liter flat-six engine which when stock, produced 300HP. That was a mighty impressive feat for a car in that era.

The 911 Turbo is expected to sell for between $55,500 and $71,000 when it’s put under the hammer on the June 6,2012. Even though it’s unclear how the Porsche made its way to Austria from the U.S., it is clear that it has lived a very privileged life and hopefully it goes to a suitable home.

Source: Hemmings

RK Motors Charlotte is becoming rather famous for their “Pro Touring” lineup of vehicles. The latest rendition we came across was the 1970 Plymouth Hemi `Cuda, which was featured at SEMA in 2008.

For those that aren’t familiar with RKM’s “Pro Touring” cars, we’ll let you in on the secret. RKM takes a decent looking muscle car – so far we’ve seen a 1967 Sting Ray Corvette and a 1955 Ford Thunderbird – completely guts it, then restores it with mild modernization. So far, RKM has really impressed us with its perfect mixture of classic muscle with modern technology.

Some of the modern touches we have seen included are an LCD touch screen stereo and navigation system on the `55 T-bird, and an LS2 V-8 in the `67 Sting Ray, all while retaining the vehicle’s original character. This specimen appears to be much of the same perfection on the surface, but what does it look like as we pull back the layers?

Click past the jump to find out if the 1970 Plymouth Hemi `Cuda Pro Touring matches the blueprints of the two before it.

If we were to say the name “Robert Glenn Johnson Jr” not many people, besides hardcore NASCAR fans, would know who we are talking about. However, mention the name Junior Johnson and “Mystery Motor” and nearly every NASCAR fan knows what we’re talking about. If you haven’t figured it out, Robert Glen Johnson Jr and Junior Johnson are the same person.

The Mystery Motor refers to Junior Johnson’s most famous car, which was a 1963 Chevy Impala SS with an extremely rare Mk II engine. This engine was a very limited production model that was wedged between the Mk I 438/409 engine and Mk IV 427 engine. This engine only saw roughly 50 total units produced, though some claim there were only 18 ever produced, making it one of the rarest GM engines ever built.

Shortly after these engines went out to various Chevrolet drivers, Chevy pulled the plug on its race sponsorship and the owners of the cars were stuck with modifying and fitting the engines themselves. Junior Johnson’s Mk II 427 wound up being the most powerful built at the time and resulted in a total of seven wins, nine pole positions, 13 top-5 finishes, and 14 top-10 finishes in just 33 races in the 1963 season. Its overall power and rarity earned it the name “Mystery Motor.”

Following the 1963 season, Chevy had began production of the Mk IV 427, rendering the Mystery Motor ineligible for NASCAR competition and reducing Johnson’s win total to less than half the following year.

If you have ever wanted to own a piece of automotive and NASCAR history, this is your chance, as RK Motors Charlotte has put Johnson’s 1963 Impala SS up for sale, Mystery Motor and all.

Click past the jump to read our full review.

RK Motors Charlotte has become pretty notorious for its Pro Touring models, which are ultra-high-performance versions of classic muscle and sports cars. Not only are they extremely powerful, but RKM also has the restored to a condition that is better than the factory could have ever imagined. Just recently, RKM launched an all-new Pro Touring model in the form of the 1955 Ford Thunderbird Pro Touring.

After the Corvette was a smash hit, Ford decided two years was a long enough wait to build its direct competitor to the Corvette, the Thunderbird. The T-bird and Corvette, however, went to completely different directions over the year. As expected, both vehicles became progressively larger through the `60s and `70s, but the T-bird grew to proportions that no one expected by the time it hit the 1967 model year.

After 1997, Ford decided to axe this growing monster, but released it again in the 2002 model year with styling cues taken from its first generation model. The first generation was arguably the most beautiful for the T-bird and RKM’s model promises to not take away from its classical styling, but rather add to it with modern modifications.

Did RKM hold true to its promise not to completely hack up this first rendition of the T-bird, or did it make this beautiful car just a shell of its former self?

Click past the jump to read our full review and find out.

In 1963, Chevrolet released an all-new Corvette to replace the C1 generation. This Corvette featured a high beltline and the body featured more chiseled lines. The C2 Generation `Vette was nicknamed the “Sting Ray” by its designers, Bill Mitchell and Larry Shinoda, and that eventually became adopted as part of the name and the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray was born.

The 1967 model year was the final one for the Sting Ray, but it was also its peak year, as its top level L88 427 cubic-inch power plant produced upwards of 500 horsepower, even though Chevy claimed it only produced 430 horsepower. The lower engines, the L68 427 and L71 427, were no chumps either, pumping out 400 horsepower and 435 horsepower, respectively.

Classic car specialists, RK Motors Charlotte, decided that the stock Sting Ray was just not enough and decided to heavily modify this classic muscle car. The resulting vehicle is the sexy and ultra-desirable 1967 Corvette Sting Rat Pro Touring, a one-off special edition designed by the folks at RKM.

Typically, we are totally against the hacking up of a classic muscle sports car like the Sting Ray, but RKM has a habit of improving these cars without ruining the original look and feel of them.

Click past the jump to read our full review and see if RKM hit a homerun, or struck out, with this Pro Touring Sting Ray.

About a month ago, Pagani unveiled a pretty cool documentary explaining the technology behind the Huayra . And because people were thoroughly impressed with it, the company decided to offer a new documentary, this time explaining the history of the very successful company.

Parts 1-4 have already been unveiled and talk about the beginnings of the company. Part One talks about Pagani founder Horacio Pagani and reveals a collage of personal photos, while Part Two explains how the company was founded in 1999 and talks about the first vehicle produced by Pagani: the Zonda C12 . Part Three goes into years 2005-2008 of the company and the production of the Zonda F and Part Four handles model year 2009 with the Zonda R . Finally, Part 5 covers the 2009-2011 model years with the Zonda Cinque .

Parts Two, Three, Four and Five can be found after the jump. Enjoy!


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